Sabbatical Five Star Retreat at Holiday Resort in Lombok, Indonesia

When i traveled across Java overland, i had to forego a trip due to time constraints. I only had a month then, and from Bali, i had a choice to either head to Java or to Lombok. I chose the former. 

About a year has passed, and i was back in Bali. Of course, the best plan was now to head to Lombok. After exploring Gili Air and Gili Trawangan, i wanted to push my adventure meter a notch higher so i decided to pursue a trip to mainland Lombok. 

The boat was very efficient, shuttling me from Gili T to Lombok in less than an hour at about 15,000 rupees. It was a very atmospheric ride and very cheap, too. 

Lombok definitely feels so different from Bali, where tourism is at its prime. Lombok doesn't feel touristy at all. 

At Holiday Resort Lombok, i felt so far from civilization but with the comforts of my own home. 

With the new wing fully operational, you can wake up to the fresh breeze of a tropical morning. The outdoor terrace is lovely, with its teak wood finish and surrounding it are hundreds of coconut trees. The room is perfect where huge comfortable beds are waiting for you after a snorkeling trip or stroll around local village 5 minutes away from the resort. 

To tell you that Holiday Resort Lombok is huge, is truly an understatement. It is arguably the biggest and highest star rating resort in Mangsit beach where sunsets are spectacular and out of this world.

On board your own private car or on a motorbike, you will see the development of the island fast approaching. Apart from the newly built international airport in Lombok, now five star hotels and residential compounds are being built for those looking for a more pounded Indonesian culture.  

Because the west coast is particularly a very safe destination in Lombok, a few nights stay at Holiday Resort Lombok feels more of a reward than an adventure. If only i could stay longer, i would definitely choose to hibernate here for at least a week. Good thing Muktu promised to be here next time, and i am quite sure about it. 

When a resort is huge, chances are there's tons of things to do apart from the spectacular sunset. 

The pool for one, is warm and crystal clear which i had a grande time using after a late afternoon swim by the beach and early morning lap. 

The bar area provides guests with alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks which comes in handy to cool off. 

Apart from the three restaurants, one bar/club, one luxurious spa and about a hundred beach lounge chairs, you can find your own little space to tuck yourself to sleep. 

More importantly, a very popular excursion is a dinner at the scenic restaurant by the beach where a romantic set-up is possible upon request. 

Imagine a table for two by the beach - watching the sun set and Bali's highest volcano. I don't have to dream about this place anymore. It's real. 

Unforgettable Sunsets at Hotel Ombak Sunset, Gili Trawangan, Indonesia

Who doesn't love a good sunset??? No one. In Gili Trawangan where there's only a handful of morning people, sunsets become the unofficial sunrise. But before that, sunrises are particularly nice, too. 

At Ombak Sunset, you get the best view of the sunset in the whole island. That is really something. For a party island, this place is perfect for chill out sessions in the afternoon where a bottle of beer or a glass of cocktail is in order. 

And because the resort is huge, walking around is already a journey in itself. You will find yourself in quiet corners and luxurious gardens. The main entrance though is surely fit for kings and queens. 

With over 15 hectares of prime spot by the beach, situated in the far north of the island, Ombak Sunset is the only five star hotel resort within the island. And the stars are all aligned at Ombak, where plush plantations are right smack in the middle of the villas. 

I especially love the terrace villa right in the middle so a trip to the beach doesn't take too long. You get the best of both worlds: an elegant spree by the couch, and fun sits by the bean bags. 

The beach front of Ombak is also one of the most popular tourist attractions in Gili Trawangan, not only because of the exotic sunsets but also because of the photogenic swings built by the sea. My photo is nothing compared to awesome photos you can google right about now. Amazing, right?

I am pretty sure you will make a trip there soon. Be sure to be there before the line starts by staying at Ombak, and you will be rewarded with an experience worthy of envy from your friends. 

The five-star rating is thumbs up in all aspects. From the vast pool, to the delicious buffet breakfasts, and of course the happy hour cocktails by the beach, everything is truly unforgettable here.  

The lovely pool, with its deep red umbrellas and turqoise waters are the perfect backdrop to an exciting happy hour session. My friends and I are looking forward to coming back at Ombak Sunset so i can truly satisfy my hunger for some pool time. 

After a night of too much partying at XL and Evolution, the signature mocktail makes for one lovely detox afternoon. Sunsets at Ombak Sunset are truly one of a kind!

I could have stayed at Gili T for a while but the wild side of the jungle and deserted beaches is already calling me. I think it's time to head to exotic Lombok. 

Address: Gili Trawangan, Dusun Gili, Trawangan Indah, Lombok Utara, Nusa Tenggara Bar. , Indonesia
Telephone Number: +62370644333/+6281808644333

Omah Gili, a Breath of fresh Air Resort in Gili Air Island, Indonesia

Omah Gili, tucked from the busy (if a few shacks means busy), neighborhood of Gili Air, is like a breath of fresh air after rediscovering the island's plush surroundings. You can take my word for it. This place is really exotic. 

There are two ways to get to the resort, one by a more scenic route passing through lovely cafes and restaurants by the beach or the other one, via the pastoral little village zig-zaging to get to the heart of the town. The question is, where's the town located?

With just a few villas surrounding the area, you discover peace and tranquility within the compounds of the resort. I especially love the vibe the resort offers, complete with traditional Lombok garments and furniture to make the experience even more authentic. I stayed together with a couple of friends at a village that houses two rooms with king size beds, and a loft area to jot down notes at night or listen to chill music in the afternoon. It's the perfect place to rest after a day of exploring. And because it's in the middle of the jungle, it's cool at night.

The outdoor bathroom is especially cozy and surreal. The warm midday sun dries you off after a cold shower, which was lovely. The walk to the nearest beach is just about a hundred meters away which makes your tanning experience even more convenient. I've tried a couple of warungs (that's a cafe or restaurant in the western world) by the beach, all of them offering lovely continental and local cuisine. The best Nasi Goreng I've tried is from there, and it's sweet and spicy with just right hint of exotic flavor. If you miss home, tacos and pizzas are always in the main menu. 

A few days is not enough to experience Omah Gili's holiday spirit which it offers to its guests. Imagine, the pool itself is a fabulous amenity, that should be put on the list of your must do's in Gili Air. It's just right. 

The island also prides itself as the quiet alternative to Gili Trawangan where parties never end, and mornings become evenings for party animals. With its crystal clear waters, and the magnificent view of Mount Rinjani, you can spend your days in perfect solitude here. 

A walk at night is very romantic and the view of the stars twinkling over the catamarans is very atmospheric. You can enjoy a bottle of beer or wine by the beach restaurants and bars north of the center. 

Since Gili Air only provides horse carts as a mode of transportation, be ready to sweat it out in a bicycle if you must. Horses sleep, too. 

The intimate experience of mingling with the locals and understanding their beach life is one of the most important experiences you can ever have in Gili Air. The people are friendly, and the relax atmosphere totally eradicates fighting over here. 

With a cold tamarind juice freshly made by the staff in one hand, i write this down. What an experience it is to travel to Gili Air and stay in Omah Gili. 

Omah Gili Resort
Address: Gili Air, West Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia
Telephone Number: +628161455-080
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Tambayan Capsule Hostel: Your Best Hostel in Manila, Philippines

Maybe, it comes with age. I feel that hostels are for the young ones. When i was in my 20's, i always had a fascination for hostels. My first hostel experience was in Singapore back in 2008. Years later, slowly, i wanted more space for myself. I already yearn for peace at night, and privacy became a bigger issue to me. I think it does come with age. When Tambayan Capsule Hostel invited me during their soft launch to experience the grandness of another hostel in Manila, i said yes. One, I've never tried hostels in Manila. Two, i am quite picky with my accommodations, hostels included. Three, i am sleeping in a bunk bed with my closest friends in a dorm room. 

I arrived quite late that Saturday. I was in a rush, since coming from Quezon City to Manila probably took me almost two hours because of traffic. Mind you, it's a Saturday. I kinda missed Manila. I've always believed that this city has a charm no other city has. Its history is unforgettable, and the old world feel is so elusive. 

I was escorted to the bedroom where seven of my closest travel buddies are already waiting. As i go up the stairs, i realize how different this hostel is from the others i see in photographs. More funky, the design is eclectic. More modern, the vibe is old world. I immediately went up and found myself surrounded by memorabilia of Manila in the olden days. Manila has such a rich history. To design about it is but right. Tambayan Capsule Hostel does it right.

At its soft opening, i already see a couple of tourists staying at Tambayan Capsule Hostel. Most of them, by this time at 3PM, where probably on their second bottle of San Miguel Beer. Watching the city pass you by is such a rewarding experience. As i type this, i couldn't help but wonder why i suddenly become excited to visit again. If they invite me again, i would probably stay for another time. And since half of my Facebook friends are non-Filipinos, i would probably recommend this place for them to stay in when they're in Manila.

It's not a party hostel. I don't think it will ever be. I once visited a party hostel in Makati, this is definitely not like it. But i like the solace this place evokes. I like that it's quiet, and a few steps away is madness. That is what staying in Manila is all about. A chill out music was the perfect soundtrack to this state of nonchalance. 

Like all hostels should be, there's a gastro pub where one could enjoy light snacks and cold beverage. Of course, when i mean cold beverage it's definitely beer. Because it's located at the roof top, one could have a good view of the bohemian streets of Malate where a lot of people are a fan of. 

At Tambayan Capsule Hostel, one can choose all-female or mixed dorm rooms. There's private rooms for 2, 4, 6 and 8 people. I don't have to write the prices. Trust me, it's cheap. 

This huge dorm room where i stayed together with my friends features a balcony overlooking the city just beside the gastro pub. Fantastic!

Oh, these kids. The real reason why hostels are delightful is because one can be crazy, and yes, you don't have to be young to do that. I remember my hostel friends at Inn Crowd. I guess it's time to let them know how much i miss our wacky moments back then.

Even if it's a hostel, Tambayan provides hotel experience with luggage keep service, transportation inquiries to the best places around the Philippines and so much more. When i was there, the lovely concierge where helping out two Swedish girls how to get to Banaue from the hostel. Great service!

If you're looking a for convenient hostel to sleep and relax for a couple of days in Manila. More, i dare you. Book your stay at Tambayan Capsule Hostel if you don't like house music playing on the roof top. Get some sleep! ha

Tambayan Capsule Hostel
Address: 1607 Bocobo St. Malate, Manila, 1004 Metro Manila
Telephone Number: +6325218850
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